Man of Steel
If not the most anticipated film of the year then certainly the most advertised. Unless you’ve spent the past month on Krypton there’s been no escaping the barrage of trailers and clips affirming that Superman is back!
What this version offers is a new take on the origins of Kal-El and his upbringing on Earth. Having escaped his dying home world, courtesy of his father Jor-El (Russell Crowe being his usual enjoyably gruff self), Kal-El is raised by Martha and Jonathan Kent as regular human Clark Kent. He struggles to reconcile keeping his super powers secret with his willingness to do good because, as Jonathan (Kevin Costner) teaches him, mankind (read: America) won’t react warmly to an extraterrestrial immigrant. As chance would have it, courtesy of some tenacious investigative journalism, Lois Lane (Amy Adams) stumbles upon Clark and soon enough his secret’s out, just in time for the arrival of the formidable General Zod, and much carnage follows.
There is much to admire about this reboot: firstly Brit actor Henry Cavill is an apt choice as Superman, appropriately buff and looking damn fine in the iconic, although slightly redesigned, outfit. Michael Shannon is his usual menacingly unhinged good self, while Hans Zimmer’s score is by turns thrilling and heartfelt, even if it is a tad overused.
Although there’s no doubt that MOS lacks the wit that made Marvel’s recent outings such a joy, the talk of it suffering from this has been greatly overstated. There are plenty of comical moments to be found here – watch out for how Clark takes his revenge on an insolent bar drunk for example.
It’s the astounding visuals that are the film’s strength. Director Zack Synder of 300 & Watchmen notoriety isn’t known for subtlety but rather for super-stylised extravagance. In MOS he delivers it in spades: whether in the guise of exploding planets, conflagrant oilrigs or alien spacecraft, everything here looks spectacular. This is handy since events race along at such speed, only pausing for an exposition, which doesn’t fully explain everything so that you’ll be already worn out by the arrival of the film’s climatic third act.
Nitpickers will point to the jarringly obvious product placement and the noticeable lack of chemistry between Lois and Clark – although this is due to the deficiencies in the script, rather than Cavill or Adams’ abilities. Still, what remains is an undeniably gorgeous, action-packed thrill ride.
Man of Steel is released nationwide on 14th June 2013.
Watch the trailer for Man of Steel here: